Please join us at upcoming public hearings for the proposed wind project on November 14 and 21. See below for our position and details about meetings and submitting your own comments.
The windfarm proposed by Terra Gen for Monument and Rainbow Ridges above the Lower Eel River is, to put it mildly, not without controversy over its potential impacts.
Many neighbors of the proposed project strongly object to the prospect of gigantic wind turbines looming on their horizon.
Environmental groups, including FOER, are gravely concerned about potentially very significant impacts to wildlife, especially raptors like golden eagles, and various bat species.
And the Wiyot Tribe has expressed its strong opposition to any disruption both of ancient cultural sites on the ridges and of the sacred ridgetop itself.
Twenty years ago, or even a decade ago, these concerns would probably have led FOER to simply oppose this project, perhaps in favor of more attractive (if less well-defined) alternative renewable energy projects. Today however, given the scale and urgency of the climate crisis, it is critical that we move to replace our carbon-intensive energy supply as rapidly as possible. We no longer have the luxury of multi-decade planning horizons.
It is very difficult to exaggerate the threat climate change poses to the ecosystems we are fighting to protect and restore. We are very rapidly approaching conditions that threaten catastrophic disruption not only of terrestrial systems, but potential collapse of the oceanic foodwebs on which our salmon, steelhead, and lamprey rely.
Simply put, we must move forward with any and every potentially significant source of renewable energy as long as it doesn’t really mess up things we cannot lose. In our view, the proposed Terra Gen windfarm does not yet meet that standard. Regulators must adopt additional mitigations if the project is to avoid serious harms to critically important resources.
However. If the project is adequately mitigated, as it can and should be, particularly for its potential harm to wildlife and for the additional risks of wildfire its transmission line presents, then FOER views the proposed project not only as feasible and defensible, but as necessary, indeed urgent.
We do not come to this position lightly, nor without awareness that it will disappoint some of our allies and supporters. But we feel a deep responsibility to address these very painful questions with a balance of passion for the need to protect the future, humility in our awareness of the limits of our understanding, and the honesty to speak the truth as clearly as we can, even if it is hard for many to hear.
Additional information about the proposed wind energy project
- FOER’s comments on the Draft EIR
- Environmental Coalition Letter
- Statement from the Wiyot Tribe
- Humboldt County’s web page with project documents
Meeting dates and comment submission
- Public Hearing at the Planning Commission Thursday November 14 at 4:00 in the Board of Supervisors Chambers in Eureka
- Public Hearing at the Planning Commission Thursday November 21 at 4:00 in the Board of Supervisors Chambers in Eureka (suggested by staff, meeting not yet confirmed)
- Submit 15 copies of your comments in person at the November 14 meeting or (suggested) email to PlanningBuilding@co.humboldt.ca.us. At the public hearings you may also present three minutes of oral comments.